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soonersailor
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Note Radio Use

Hello all. I am new to sailing and just wanted to be assured of radio etiquette. Such as how to contact the dockmaster when going into a marina. What channel to use, what do I say? Do I do the same for mooring balls? I tried searching for this but was probably using the wrong search terms. We are going down in october and have been practicing sailing every week at my sailing club but of course we do not use radios here on our lake. Thanks for any help.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:28 pm    

Radio is fairly informal in the BVI. Most marinas that have a radio will monitor channel 12. If you want to give them a call, it would go something like this:

"Leverick Bay Dockmaster, sailing vessel your boat name, over."

If no joy, try on channel 16.

For what it's worth, except for the larger marinas (Road Harbor and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor), no one much bothers calling most of the marinas in the BVI when arriving. Just pull up to the dock. Most places, a dock attendant will be there to help you tie up.

Don't bother calling anyone for a mooring ball. If anyone wants to collect, they will find you.
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Av8or
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Note Radio etiquette

Sooner sailor,

In most cases it really isn't necessary to contact the dockmaster before going into a marina. Most people use mooring balls and its usually first come first serve. You are expected to pay the mooring fee before leaving. In most areas a dinghy will come out to your boat if you haven't paid before the day is up. If you want to pay on arrival just go to the dock and find out which mooring field you're in. In Anegada for instance there are, I believe, two fields owned by Anegada Reef Hotel and Neptunes Treasure. You pay the appropriate owner.

Your charter company will tell you the most commonly used channel on your radio. About the only time you "have" to call is to make dinner reservations at a restaurant. If, for instance, you were moored at Norman Island and dining at Willie T's you would simply say "Willie T's, Willie T's, this is (boat name). When they reply you would tell them you would like to make dinner reservations. In most places we visited there, if you didn't call first, you didn't eat. Willie T's would also take your mooring fee. Be sure that the person you pay for mooring gives you a receipt or you may have to pay twice after being taken advantage of by some young boy with a dinghy.

What lake do you sail??

Av8or
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soonersailor
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:00 pm    

Great! Thanks for the info. Currently I sail at lake thunderbird in Norman OK. Two years ago we spent a week aboard sophisticated lady in the BVI which got us hooked on this sailing thing. Since then I got my us sailing card and am now trying hard to get some experience under my belt.
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sail2wind
Link to this postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:06 pm    

You should always hail on VHF 16. Channel 12 is used by Moorings and Sunsail. When making dinner reservations we do not use the boat name, either we make up a name or use our first name. This method is suggested on many sailing boards, as you are announcing to anyone monitoring 16 that you will be away from your boat from 7-8pm. I personally would not enter a marina without a slip assignment or permission to go to the fuel dock, for instance. Especially if your are going in a slip, bow in? stern in? what side fenders? Once you contact the marina on 16 they will switch you to a working channel.
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tradewinds
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:06 pm    

Leverick Bay has specific slip assignments based on the size/type of boat, so I would definitely hail them on the VHF before going in.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:48 pm    

It may depend a little on the marina.

Crown Bay marina in St. Thomas is very particular and wants to control everyone in and out of the marina entrance.

You call them on VHF-16, tell them what you want and wait for instructions.
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sail2wind
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:58 pm    

We love Crown Bay, extremely polite. Yes there is a lot of traffic, a very busy fuel dock, and a few ferries as well.
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kentth
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:49 pm    

It seems like each time we have gone the less that the radio is used. The last two times a cell phone was included with the boat. We normally hail on the radio, but found a number of times we would not get a response and had to call on the cell.

There also seems like there is less and less radio traffic, I don't believe a lot of the credit card sailors even know what the radio is even for or how to turn it on.

We normally monitor VHF-16, find it very useful in keeping track of some of the larger traffic that might be coming and going where we might be.

One thing we missed on our last two charters was the lack of a weather channel on the radio. Seems the charter company didn't think was important, so most of their boat radios don't have the weather band on them.

Every morning, after I get the coffee brewing and I go for my morning swim, I kick the weather on and see if there have been any changes. On our last charter, I brought my own radio, so I could monitor the weather.
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HillsideView
Link to this postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:15 pm    

I can remember spending many evenings aboard my fathers boat anchored off St John listening to the traffic on VI Radio...that was how phone calls were handled ship to shore. Most of the folks on the line didn't realize EVERY word of both sides of the conversation was being transmitted for all to hear!
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RickH
Link to this postPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Note Channel

HillsideView wrote:
I can remember spending many evenings aboard my fathers boat anchored off St John listening to the traffic on VI Radio...that was how phone calls were handled ship to shore. Most of the folks on the line didn't realize EVERY word of both sides of the conversation was being transmitted for all to hear!


Wasn't that channel 25 or maybe 26?
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